Lorenzo Lebrija, a priest of the Diocese of San Diego, talks to a child at the Posada del Migrant Shelter in Mexicali, Mexico. Photo: Diocese of San Diego

[The Episcopal News] The Southern Border Committee of the Program Group on Global Partnership, in cooperation with the nonprofit faith-based organization Border Compassion, invites members of the diocesan community to join them for a visit to the Posada del Migrant Shelter in Mexicali, Mexico, Nov. 4 – 5.

Spanish language skills are not necessary for visitors, according to committee chair the Rev. Patricia O’Reilly, who notes that the two-day trip is a good opportunity for those who might want to visit a shelter, but would prefer to do so safely with a group. Mexicali, considered one of the safest border crossing cities, is directly across the U.S. border from Calexico, California, and is the capital city of the Mexican state of Baja California.

The group will travel to Calexico on Nov. 4, stay in the Howard Johnson hotel, and on Nov. 5 cross into Mexicali to visit the shelter, where they will spend the day interacting with migrants, playing with children, and learning more about the migrant experience before returning home. Migrants at the shelter — which can accommodate as many as 300 people — fled their homes to escape violence, poverty and climate disasters

The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, a former development officer for the Diocese of Los Angeles now resident in the Diocese of San Diego, is a visiting priest at the shelter. An article about his experience there is here.

A $125 donation from each traveler will be given to the shelter for food. The hotel will be $131 per room, and participants will drive or carpool to Mexicali (about four hours from Los Angeles). A flyer with details is here.

For additional information or to join the group, contact O’Reilly at trishor@gmail.com or 323.559.2854.